The present study has been carried out in an organic winery established in 2003 in the Denomination of Origin “Sierras de Malaga” (Southern Spain) region during the 2007 vintage. The aim of this work was to ascertain the yeast microflora present in the winery and during the vinifications and to obtain a collection of autochthonous S. cerevisiae strains from this area. Yeast populations from three vats containing fermenting musts from different grape varieties were analysed. Two of them were inoculated with a natural “pied de cuve” while the third one was sown with a rehydrated commercial yeast strain. A total of 382 yeasts were isolated and identified, initially by restriction analysis of ribosomal DNA and further by sequencing of this region. Non-Saccharomyces yeasts were found in all three musts but they practically disappeared as the fermentations progressed. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA RFLP revealed 13 different restriction patterns of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, five of them similar to those of commercial strains used in the winery. Commercial strains were found even in vats inoculated with a “pied de cuve” generated by spontaneous fermentation of a must sample. The analysis of samples recovered from different winery surfaces and equipments demonstrated that non-Saccharomyces and both commercial and autochthonous Saccharomyces strains were part of the resident microflora in the winery. Biodiversity of autochthonous S. cerevisiae in fermentation vats was low but two of them were able to compete with the commercial ones and they were isolated even at the end of the fermentation. (We recommend that you consult the full text of this article)

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